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|Saturday, August 05, 2000, updated at 17:40(GMT+8)|
Manila Won't File Protest Against Jakarta on Bombing: OfficialA foreign ministry official said Saturday that the Philippines will not file a diplomatic protest over the bombing of the Philippine ambassador's residence in Jakarta, Indonesia
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Willy Gaa told journalists in a media forum that "the government is not thinking at this moment this move against Indonesia."
A powerful car bomb exploded at the entrance of the residence of Philippine ambassador Leonides Caday on Tuesday, killing two persons and injuring some 20 others, including Caday.
"You only file diplomatic protest if you think that the host government has anything to do with it. In this case, the Indonesian government has shown, in fact, a very high level of cooperation as far as the investigation of the incident is concerned," Gaa said.
He said no less than Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has issued a statement condemning the attack. "The Indonesian Vice President and the governor of Jakarta personally visited Caday in the hospital, so I don't think it will be appropriate (to file diplomatic protest)," he added.
Gaa also said that the Indonesian authorities are now running a check on a particular group called Mujahiddin Khalq -- a group which claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Earlier, the Philippine government said if necessary, it would send an intelligence and diplomatic team to Indonesia to coordinate with the authorities there and extend assistance in the investigation of the bomb blast.
Executive Secretary Ronald Zamora said Friday that the bombing may have been committed by Indonesians with links to Philippines' separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Zamora, quoting an Indonesian intelligence report, said, "the report of the Indonesian intelligence authorities points to Indonesians possibly with an MILF connection."
He said the bombers may have been trying to avenge the death of some colleges during recent skirmishes between MILF guerrillas and government troops, culminating in the military capture of MILF's headquarters, Camp Abubakar in July.
"There were Indonesian separatists in Abubakar. We understand some may be injured. That could be a motive," he explained.
Philippine Vice President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also said the Jakarta investigation has shifted from Filipinos to Indonesians as the possible suspects.
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